I Fell Down on My Bike This Morning

Just as I was coming off the Three Rivers Park Regional Trail and making the turn onto the Grand Rounds Scenic Byway that circles Lake Calhoun, I fell, on the grass. It was a wonderful and amazing fall, one of those moments when the adrenaline kicks in and everything is in slow motion. I could feel myself relax.

Granted, falling from a bicycle is not really some big deal, nothing like raising kids or joining the church choir. I take that back. It is a lot like joining the church choir. I’ll explain myself later. For now, suffice it to say that even though it shouldn’t be a big deal, it’s not something I relish and/or want to do on a regular basis.

It was, however, the absolutely perfect ending of the first act to an already questionable day, questionable as in should I have even bothered to get out of bed this morning, though I had to take my son to Hopkins Main Street School for the Performing Arts at 6:45 AM so had no real choice (about getting out of bed). I did have a choice about getting on a bicycle and given the gray sky and last night’s weather forecast (showers), I did hesitate before I unstrapped my bike from the car. Add to the not-so-perfect weather the fact that my biking partner for the end of July Ragbrai ride across Iowa informed me yesterday that she would only be riding one piece of the trip and you have the recipe for a boomer’s (as in baby boomer) downer day.

Fall down five miles into the ride, curtain comes down. End of Act 1.

Act two? I’m not altogether sure at this point. I am having a difficult time giving up the idea of riding Ragbrai this my sixtieth year on the planet, especially given that I just that the ride will go through Lidderdale, Iowa, the tiny town, population 100, where I and my six siblings lived out the early years of our family life. So many memories. I could switch gears and go for the Minnesota Ride that same week. It’s a much easier ride plus closer to home plus costs less plus I wouldn’t have so much trouble dealing with transportation and it is a charity event, the Minnesota ride, with a good cause, ending multiple sclerosis.

The Iowa ride doesn’t have a charitable cause to promote. I believe it simply promotes biking, not a bad cause, really. What’s a girl to do?

I could force one of my sons to be my Iowa driver (why does that sound so completely unfunny?) I could beg strangers to bike with me. Maybe my husband won’t go to India this summer. Then he’s available.

You see why I fell. I’m confused. I’m uncertain. (Really, it was all those darn pictures of bicycles with lines slashing them in half. Where, exactly, were bicycles allowed to go? Suddenly, I had to stop and think. I’m not good yet at sudden stops in my new, hook-in-to-the-pedal shoes.) I’d throw my arms up in despair but I’m no longer confident of my ability to ride a bike with no hands. I’d like to tie my new dilemma up into a neat package with a silver bow like the one that my husband used for my mother’s day gift on Sunday, but that wouldn’t be honest.

For now, I’ll just hop back on my bike and pedal the remaining ten miles of this days workout, perhaps get a little wet, and hopefully, not fall again. The tulips are still blooming.

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